Monday, June 1, 2015

Modeling the Six Traits of Writing (Fluency)

by S. Romero

What is sentence fluency? Sentence fluency is the way words and phrases sound together.  A
sentence with good fluency should flow smoothly, be free of fragments, have correct punctuation and of course make sense! Writing with good fluency is a process and takes time to master. As your students become more fluent in their speaking and reading skills, you will notice that their writing fluency skills will also improve There are many activities that you can do to ensure that your students practice all three skills (speaking, reading, and writing) to help build good sentence fluency. One of the activities I've found to be most helpful is a shared reading and writing sentence-building activity.

I begin with a shared reading and writing mini-lesson to model sentence fluency building.

On chart paper, I write:

We read the sentence aloud altogether. My students quickly realize that the sentence is incomplete. I ask my students, "Whats wrong with this sentence?" They chime in... "No tiene sentido. Le falta detalles." And finally, the phrase I've been waiting to hear... "¡No tiene fluidez!" It's music to my ears! I ask "¿Por qué no tiene sentido?" "¿Cuáles detalles le falta?" "¿Por qué no tiene fluidez?" My students are eager to answer all my questionns. I then tell my students that we are going to add more to this sentence so that it will ake sense, contain more details, and of course have sentence fluency! I have several students share other things that firefighters do to help our community. We read aloud and continue adding to the sentence while building sentence fluency.

NOTE: Before this min-lesson, my students are aware of what a good sentence looks like and sounds like. We've had several class discussions and mini-lessons on this particular trait.

While the students share their ideas, allow another student to come up and add those ideas to the original sentence. Then read the sentence altogether.

"¿Tiene sentido la oración?" "¿Tiene fluidez la oración?" "¿Le podemos añadir más detalles?"

Once we all agree which sentence makes sense, has more details, and has good fluency, we put a star next to that sentence as a reminder of what a good sentence looks like and sounds like! We practice this activity altogehter with other phrases and continue to build more sentences as we go!

Application: Once my students are familiar with the activity and can work independently, I had them out two paragraphs to revise with a partner in order to create a strong sentence with fluency. We read the first sample paragraph aloud.

My students notice that the paragraph sounds rather choppy and lacks fluency. I tell them that the paragraph includes enough details and makes sense, but it just doesn't flow smoothly. I ask the, "Qué le podemos hacer al párrafo para que tenga más fluidez?" "Cuáles partes de la oración podemos combinar para que no estemos diciendo, El oso, El oso, El oso." We then all agree that we can combine the sentences to create a strong sentence that will flow more smoothly. We then start building the sentences togehter and arrive at.

I then hand them their own paragraphs to revise with a partner. See attachment below.

                                                                 Click here to print!

What activities have you used in your classroom that helped your students build good sentence fluency?

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